Have you ever met a person who, from the second they meet you, they tend to really talk your ear off?

But they don’t just talk your ear off. It’s like every story they tell sounds like a novel.

You’re 100 pages into the story, and they still haven’t paused for a breath. You’re on your third cup of coffee, they’re 200 pages into the novel, and the stories usually pertain to nothing that really matters or had any relation to the conversation you we having.

You have just met who I call the epic story person. Epic story people are always nice people. They really mean well. But they just don’t know how to wrap it up and give you the Cliff Notes version of the story.

When I tell a story, I’m all about the Cliff Notes version. I’ll give you a couple minutes, I’ll make it fun and exciting. Then I get to the point, deliver the punch line, and I’m done with it.

When I hear a story, I don’t need to hear from somebody the very first chapter since the beginning of time. I don’t need to know every little detail about other people that have nothing to do with the story I’m being told. I’m not going to remember all that detail anyway, and if you’re an epic story teller, neither is anybody else you are telling your story to.

So if you know that you’re an epic story person, start thinking to yourself a bit about how much talking you do to other people. I’m sure your stories are great and entertaining, but start coming up with the Cliff Notes version of all your great stories. No matter how entertaining your stories are, nobody has time for a two hour movie. We all have ADD after a certain point. We all need a little commercial break. So treat it like the news, and wrap it up in a two and a half minute segment. Because that’s the attention span of the average person before they start feeling the need to interrupt, say something unrelated, or want to leave out of boredom.

So Mr. or Mrs. Epic story person, you’re wonderful, you’re great, but it’s time to practice the Cliff Notes.